Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Home-made Greek Yogurt

This is an inexpensive way to make Greek yogurt (similar to the taste of Fage) at home. Fage yogurt is made using the active yogurt cultures L. Bulgaricus and S. Thermophilus. It gives the Greek yogurt its distinctive tangy taste, and on the positive side, a low milk sugar and high protein content. The Yogourmet product contains those cultures freeze-dried, and so it is the perfect basis to make Greek yogurt at home, and less expensive at that (6 packages for 1 quart of yogurt each is about $5). I use a Salton YM9 1-Quart Yogurt Maker (about $21 on Now, let's make 0% fat Greek yogurt.

1 quart skim milk (fat-free)
1 package yogourmet freeze-dried L. Bulgaricus and S. Thermophilus active yogurt cultures
1 thermometer
1 yogurt maker

Heat the skim milk to 180F on the stove, then it fill into the yogurt container inset, and let cool down to 108-112F. Turn on the yogurt maker, and let warm up. In a small container, stir the yogurt cultures into a bit of lukewarm milk and let rest until the milk cools down. Once the milk reaches the desired temperature, add the cultures to the milk, and stir gently and well until it is all mixed. Put lid on yogurt container, and pace into yogurt maker. It takes 4-5 hour to make firm yogurt. Remove from yogurt maker, and place in fridge to stop the process.

After chilling the Greek yogurt over night, it can be served. An alternative is to strain the yogurt first using cheese cloth and a sieve to remove some of the liquid, or use a straining device. This makes the yogurt texture more creamy and similar to store-bought fage. It will reduce by half.

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